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Dad-to-be Paul Pollock is hoping for a weekend to remember as he tackles Belfast Marathon for first time


Paul Pollock will tackle the Belfast Marathon for the first time

Paul Pollock will tackle the Belfast Marathon for the first time

©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Paul Pollock will tackle the Belfast Marathon for the first time

Two-time Olympic marathon runner Paul Pollock is a late entry for Sunday’s 40th Mash Direct Belfast Marathon.

Race director John Allen said he received a request from Holywood doctor Pollock after he had changed his plans following his withdrawal from last Sunday’s Hamburg Marathon because his wife is expecting the birth of their child at any time.

The 35-year-old wants to be closer to home for this important family event and will now be making his first ever Belfast Marathon appearance.

And Pollock will hope to deliver the times needed to compete in either the World Championships or Commonwealth Games later in the year.

Pollock was injured just before his participation in the Rotterdam Marathon recently but is determined to attack the not particularly flat Belfast course to see if he can at least achieve the Birmingham Commonwealth Games consideration time of two hours and 13 minutes.

This is considerably slower than his PB time of 2.10.25 from Valencia, which was achieved just before the first lockdown.

The required Birmingham time is in fact faster than the Belfast course record of 2.13.41, which was set by Ethiopia’s Urga Negewo back in 2012 over a more difficult course .

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Pollock should receive some limited pacing assistance over the course from various relay runners but has set himself a demanding task as the course, while much more benign than a few years ago, is a tough test.

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